As countries like China and Spain manifested their interest to have a slice of this delicious fruit, commercial dragon fruit farming still attracts growers all over the Philippines. In support of the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Plant, Plant, Plant program, the Association of Dragon Fruit Growers in the Philippines said they are eyeing to expand 10,000 hectares for dragon fruit farming in five years time starting this year to be able to supply the global market.
Association of Dragon Fruit Growers representative Edita Aguinaldo-Dacuycuy from Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte, says: “Following our 2nd stakeholders virtual meeting held last June 1, we are happy to inform that the Dragon Fruit Industry Road Map 2021-2025 has started to take off. It is with great hope that our strong collaboration with the DA, as well as the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and other government line agencies, we will be able to make it happen to benefit all growers nationwide.”
Dragon fruit has many health benefits, including its ability to aid in weight loss, improve digestion, lower cholesterol, strengthen the immune system, and boost energy levels.
To date, Ilocos Norte remains the top producer of dragon fruit with around 500 hectares planted across the province. Growers, however, encountered problems with pests and diseases, thereby affecting the target yield.
Photo source: Dreamstime.com